Sixguns and Society: A Structural Study of the Western / Edition 1

Sixguns and Society: A Structural Study of the Western / Edition 1

by Will Wright
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0520034910

ISBN-13: 9780520034914

Pub. Date: 09/30/1977

Publisher: University of California Press


From the Preface:
The purpose of this book is to explain the Western's popularity. While the Western itself may seem simple (it isn't quite), an explanation of its popularity cannot be; for the Western, like any myth, stands between individual human consciousness and society. If a myth is popular, it must somehow appeal to or reinforce the

Overview


From the Preface:
The purpose of this book is to explain the Western's popularity. While the Western itself may seem simple (it isn't quite), an explanation of its popularity cannot be; for the Western, like any myth, stands between individual human consciousness and society. If a myth is popular, it must somehow appeal to or reinforce the individuals who view it by communicating a symbolic meaning to them. This meaning must, in turn, reflect the particular social institutions and attitudes that have created and continue to nourish the myth. Thus, a myth must tell its viewers about themselves and their society. This study, which takes up the question of the Western as an American myth, will lead us into abstract structural theory as well as economic and political history. Mostly, however, it will take us into the movies, the spectacular and not-so-spectacular sagebrush of the cinema. Unlike most works of social science, the data on which my analysis is based is available to all of my readers, either at the local theater or, more likely, on the late, late show. I hope you will take the opportunity, whenever it is offered, to check my findings and test my interpretations; the effort is small and the rewards are many. And if your wife, husband, mother, or child asks you why you are wasting your time staring at Westerns on TV in the middle of the night, tell them firmly--as I often did--that you are doing research in social science.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520034914
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
09/30/1977
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
232
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents


Preface

1. Introduction: The Myth and the Method
2. The Structure of Myth
3. The Structure of the Western Film
4. Myth as a Narrative of Social Action
5. Individuals and Values: The Classical Plot
6. Individuals Against Values: The Vengeance Variation
7. Groups and Techniques: The Professional Plot
8. Myth and Meaning

Methodological Epilogue
Appendix
Bibliography
Index

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